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科学美国人60秒: 横斑猫头鹰入侵内华达山脉

所属教程:科学美国人60秒科学系列 更新:01-29
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Barred Owls Invade the Sierra Nevada

横斑猫头鹰入侵内华达山脉

The barred owl has a very distinctive call. "It's the one that goes 'who cooks for you.'" Connor Wood is a conservation biologist and applied ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Who does a pretty great barred owl impression himself.

横斑猫头鹰的叫声非常独特。“是‘谁给你做饭’。” Connor Wood是威斯康星大学麦迪逊分校的保护生物学家和应用生态学家。他给自己留下了非常棒的条纹猫头鹰印象。

Barred owls are native to the eastern U.S. But in the last century, they've crossed the Great Plains, flooded into Canada, and taken up roost in the Pacific Northwest… where they're a major threat to northern spotted owls.

横斑猫头鹰原产于美国东部,但在上个世纪,它们穿越了大平原,涌入加拿大,在太平洋西北部栖息……在那里,它们是北方斑点猫头鹰的主要威胁。

"Barred owls are bigger and more aggressive. And so barred owls have been able to basically drive spotted owls out of their preferred nesting areas. And also because they're more flexible with what they eat, there can be more barred owls on the landscape."

“横斑猫头鹰体型更大,攻击性更强。所以横斑猫头鹰基本上能把斑点猫头鹰赶出它们喜欢的筑巢区。而且因为它们对食物的选择更加灵活,所以会有更多的横斑猫头鹰出现。”

And now, they're invading the Sierra Nevada mountains, further south—the native range of the California spotted owl. "And the big question was: what is the size of the barred owl population there, and how fast is it growing?"

现在,它们正在向南侵入内华达山脉——加利福尼亚斑点猫头鹰的栖息地。“最大的问题是:那里横斑猫头鹰的数量有多少?它们的生长速度有多快?”

To answer that, Wood and his team deployed audio recorders in roughly 1000 locations, throughout 2300 square miles of the northern Sierra Nevada. And then they listened—for two years—collecting the faint calls of spotted owls <> and barred owls, too.

为了回答这个问题,伍德和他的团队在北内华达山脉2300平方英里范围内的大约1000个地点部署了录音机。然后他们听了两年——收集斑点猫头鹰微弱的叫声<<斑点猫头鹰>>和横斑猫头鹰也一样。

In total, they gathered 200,000 hours worth of audio. "It was pretty daunting seeing it all accumulate and knowing we had to make something intelligible out of it." Algorithms that combed the audio for owl calls helped make sense of it all, and through models, the researchers were able to estimate who was living in those forests—barred owls or spotted owls—and approximately how many of them there were.

他们总共收集了20万个小时的音频。“看着这一切都在积累,知道我们必须从中得出一些明白的东西,这是相当令人生畏的。”对猫头鹰叫声进行音频梳理的算法有助于理解这一切。通过模型,研究人员能够估计出那些生活在森林里的猫头鹰——条纹猫头鹰或斑点猫头鹰——以及它们大约有多少。

"The key finding is that barred owls occupied about 8 percent of the northern Sierra Nevada landscape in 2017. But that jumps to 21 percent in 2018. So that's a 2.6 fold increase in just one year. On one hand, that's really worrying, because it suggests that barred owl population has begun to grow really rapidly and thus poses an immediate threat to California spotted owls. But on the other hand, it's also really exciting. We've caught the problem early and have a chance to do something about it. Most biological invasions aren't identified until it's too late." The results are in the journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

“关键的发现是,横斑猫头鹰在2017年占据了内华达山脉北部景观的8%。但到2018年,这一比例将跃升至21%。一年就增长了2。6倍。一方面,这确实令人担忧,因为这表明横斑猫头鹰的数量已经开始快速增长,从而对加州斑点猫头鹰构成了直接威胁。但另一方面,这也很令人兴奋。我们很早就发现了这个问题,现在有机会做点什么了。大多数生物入侵直到为时已晚才被发现。”研究结果发表在《秃鹫:鸟类学应用》杂志上。

Wood and his team advise that it might be necessary to take lethal action: remove the barred owls before they wipe out California spotted owls. Assuming we give a hoot about the spotted owls' survival.

伍德和他的团队建议,可能有必要采取致命的行动:在消灭加州斑点猫头鹰之前,先除掉横斑猫头鹰。假设我们为斑点猫头鹰的生存而欢呼。

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